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The Flexible Exchange Rate System: Experience and Alternatives

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  • Rudiger Dornbusch
  • Jeffrey A. Frankel

Abstract

We review ten aspects of how floating exchange rates have worked in practice, contrasted with ten characteristics that the system was supposed to have in theory. We conclude that the foreign exchange market is characterized by high transactions-volume, short-term horizons, and an absence of stabilizing speculation. As a result, the exchange rate at times strays from the equilibrium level dictated by fundamentals, contrary to theory. We then look at ten proposed alternatives to the current system. Four entail decentralized policy rules: new classical macroeconomics, a gold standard, monetarism, and nominal income targeting. Four foresee enhanced international coordination: G-7 "objective indicators," Williamson target zones, McKinnon "world monetarism," and a "Hosomi Fund." Two propose enhanced independence: a "Tobin tax" on transactions, and a dual exchange rate. We conclude that one might build a case for intervention from the observed failure of international financial markets to behave as in the theoretical ideal, but that government intervention in practice is just as likely to fall short of the theoretical ideal

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 2464.

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Date of creation: Jul 1989
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Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:2464

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Cited by:
  1. Jeffrey A. Frankel, 1996. "How Well do Foreign Exchange Markets Function: Might a Tobin Tax Help?," NBER Working Papers 5422, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Søren Johansen & Katarina Juselius & Roman Frydman & Michael Goldberg, 2007. "Testing Hypotheses in an I(2) Model with Applications to the Persistent Long Swings in the Dmk/$ Rate," Discussion Papers 07-34, University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics.
  3. Andrea Terzi, 2003. "Is a transactions tax an effective means to stabilize the foreign exchange market?," Working Papers 0303, University of Bergamo, Department of Economics.
  4. Aliyu, Shehu Usman Rano, 2008. "Exchange Rate Volatility and Export Trade in Nigeria: An Empirical Investigation," MPRA Paper 13490, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 17 Feb 2009.
  5. Baldwin, Richard E. & Skudelny, Frauke & Taglioni, Daria, 2005. "Trade effects of the euro: evidence from sectoral data," Working Paper Series 0446, European Central Bank.
  6. Stein, Jerome L. & Paladino, Giovanna, 1997. "Recent developments in international finance: A guide to research," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 21(11-12), pages 1685-1720, December.
  7. Michele Fratianni & Dominick Salvatore & Paolo Savona, 1998. "Ideas for the Future of the International Monetary System: Conclusions and Remarks," Open Economies Review, Springer, vol. 9(1), pages 689-700, January.
  8. Francis Bismans & Olivier Damette, 2012. "La taxe Tobin : une synthèse des travaux basés sur la théorie des jeux et l’économétrie," Working Papers of BETA 2012-09, Bureau d'Economie Théorique et Appliquée, UDS, Strasbourg.
  9. Sergio Da Silva, 2004. "International Finance, Levy Distributions, and the Econophysics of Exchange Rates," International Finance 0405018, EconWPA.
  10. Markus Haberer, 2003. "Some Criticism of the Tobin Tax," CoFE Discussion Paper 03-01, Center of Finance and Econometrics, University of Konstanz.
  11. Terry Boulter & Celeste Ping Fern Tan, 2000. "The Short Run Impact of Scheduled Macroeconomic Announcements on the Australian Dollar during 1998," School of Economics and Finance Discussion Papers and Working Papers Series 082, School of Economics and Finance, Queensland University of Technology.
  12. Michael D. Bordo & Anna J. Schwartz, 1991. "What has Foreign Market Intervention Since the Plaza Agreement Accomplished?," NBER Working Papers 3562, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

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